I’ve been exploring SuiteCRM as a solution for an architectural firm but it doesn’t seem to have any cultivation features. It has a wealth devoted to targets and campaigns, for attracting unknowns to the top of the funnel and converting from leads to contacts… but what then? Our business is like selling yachts… it can takes years of cultivating hundreds of contacts prior to an opportunity, much less a sale. Maybe SuiteCRM is good for selling widgets or repeating contracts but I’m not understanding how the features could be used to cultivate well-known contacts.
I’m imagining some kind of list system associated with repeating calendar events on different cycles (monthly, quarterly, semi-annually), possibly slightly randomized, with reminders for periodic incidental touches. Plastering prospective clients with an opt in newsletter or impersonal email is totally the wrong feel for what I need. Every client needs a carefully hand-crafted touch. A CRM should be great to sort contacts into lists and schedule this. Surely the back end has all the gears needed, but I can’t find any modules that do this or even speak to it.
Anyone out there organized SuiteCRM to do this?
Since you’re not getting any answers, let me try just a brief comment.
There are ways to work in a way similar to what you describe, with a few customizations. You have all the necessary data recording every pasrt interaction with your customers, you just need some automatic stuff (workflows) to generate periodic tasks or reminders.
For a personal look into customer lists, often a simple list that is sorted by “last contact” is enough for you to scan the list and decide on actions.
I agree a “Cultivation” feature might be interesting in the future to facilitate this kind of work, but don’t expect it anytime soon unless sombedy from the Community contributes it
Usually if you invest just a bit of money customizing SuiteCRM you can get a good experience, tailored to your needs. The money you save because you don’t have to buy it, or pay licenses, you can put into customizing it and extending it.
pgr, thanks for the response. You’ve got me thinking further about the design. A basic module might start:
- Cultivation page with Cultivation Lists and Cultivation Schedules
- Cultivation List page with basic parameters (name, description, schedule(s) assigned)
- List Contacts page for each to assign contacts via check box
- (Contact probably needs an additional Cultivation List selection drop down to assign, multiple allowed)
- Cultivation Schedule needs just a period with maybe a randomization setting (% of period?)
- Dashboard widget shows today/upcoming Touches
That would be the minimum to fire off reminders with the user left to act and track in Leads/Opportunity/Sales. More advanced features might include better views and tracking:
- Calendar page showing each list-schedule intersection
- Tracking of status (pending, accomplished, follow up)
- Touches connected to Leads/Opportunities/Sales
I know PHP, but nothing about SuiteCRM to understand how much customization would be required. And I’m currently just a one man shop, so my contributions wouldn’t be large… do SuiteCRM developers ever create crowdfunded modules? (I’m a big FOSS fan, I’d prefer my contributions be shared/included in SuiteCRM after the initial goal is achieved.)
You can achieve much of that with Workflows, although it will be a bit more convoluted than if you had ready-made screens to manage these things.
There has often been talk about crowd-funding developments, but nobody ever actually went ahead and did it
A model that sometimes has worked is that somebody pays for the feature they need, and in the end just offers it to the Community, instead of selling it as an add-on. The logic is that if enough people do this, you spend money building one feature, but get dozens for free, from others. As in “think altruistically, you stand to gain much more!”
I’m definitely altruistic.
Would you guess a feature set like this is a week or a month’s worth of programming effort? Or more?
I would say it’s definitely more than one week, to get something presentable.
I wouldn’t do the design of this module, exactly as you said, I would adapt further to the existing concepts and modules (to avoid repeating code and features). Much can be done with existing Calendar, Tasks, and Target Lists. What I see as new in your design is mostly the concept of intelligent recurring reminders, triggered in consideration of what is found in each Contacts’ profile.
If you want I can ask someone from our sales team to contact you using the email you registered in these forums, and you can get a actual quote. If so, please mention that you would like to build the module and contribute it to the core, that makes the project a bit different.
Thanks, pgr. Yes, please have sales contact me.
“Nurturing” might be a more official marketing term for what I’m trying to do. And I’ve seen “DRIP” used to explain a similar email/phone process, although I’m thinking more analog.
Yes, “nurturing” sounds good…